Born in Malaysia, I moved to Massachusetts at the age of four. After spending four years in what already seemed like a cold climate, I moved further up north to beautiful Maine where my family and I served as missionaries to the locals there. At the age of 11, my family and I relocated back to equator-based Malaysia where I completed high school in a Christian homeschooling center. A 16-year-old me started attending Appalachian State University in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina, where I graduated with Summa Cum Laude Latin honors in a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design. For a year after graduating with my bachelor’s, I worked for Don Duffy Architecture in Charlotte, NC and gained valuable experience in residential architecture. I returned to Appalachian State University in 2016 to pursue my Master’s of Science in Technology with a concentration in Sustainable Design & Construction, graduating in December 2017 after writing and defending my thesis, titled “Current Status and Prospects for Lighting Technologies in Senior Living Facilities.” Since graduating, I joined the commercial architecture world, working at Jenkins Peer Architects as a Project Designer in uptown Charlotte.
Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for art and crafts, children and service, as well as soccer. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my eight year old self would answer “a nurse” because I always wanted to work with kids. The hidden dream was to own a greeting card shop located in the middle of a huge hollow tree trunk and be the main card artist. Perhaps my current dream is only a combination of all the above.
My heart ticks for those young lives who’ve been deceived into believing that there are boundaries to what they can become because of a disability, whether those boundaries are physically, mentally, financially, or spiritually. I believe interior design can make a difference in these people’s lives. Being able to perform daily activities in your living situation without the assistance of others as well as being comfortable and proud of your environment are two important assets that can increase one’s confidence. My goal is the minimize the disabilities… and maximize the abilities.
“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have,
you are able by the abilities you have.” -Oscar Pistorius